Above: Text of “Of the Father’s Love Forgotten”
Image in the Public Domain
SAINT MARCUS AURELIUS CLEMENS PRUDENTIUS (348-413)
Poet, Polemicist, and Hymn Writer
St. Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius came from an upper class family in Roman Spain in 348. He grew up to write poems, hymns, and prose polemics in defense of the Roman Catholic faith as factions debated and formulated core doctrines of the faith. Two of his classic works are “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” (translated into English at the top of this post) and “Earth Has Many a Noble City,” the English translation of which follows:
Earth has many a noble city;
Bethlehem, thou dost all excel;
Out of thee the Lord from Heaven
Came to rule His Israel.
Fairer than the sun at morning
Was the star that told His birth,
To the world its God announcing
Seen in fleshly form on earth.
Eastern sages at His cradle
Make oblations rich and rare;
See them give, in deep devotion,
Gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Sacred gifts of mystic meaning:
Incense doth their God disclose,
Gold the King of kings proclaimeth,
Myrrh His sepulcher foreshows.
Jesu, whom the Gentiles worshipped
At Thy glad Epiphany,
Unto Thee, with God the Father
And the Spirit, glory be.
Almighty God, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness: You have shown us the splendor of creation in the work of your servant St. Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius. Teach us to drive from the world all chaos and disorder, that our eyes may behold your glory, and that at last everyone may know the inexhaustible richness of your new creation in Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Isaiah 28:5-6 or Hosea 14:5-8 or 2 Chronicles 20:20-21
Philippians 4:8-9 or Ephesians 5:18b-20
–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006)
Revised on November 27 2016